Art Stars at Deeping St. James Primary School

Ellie visited Deeping St. James Primary School on Friday 1st July, to run some workshops as part of their Art Day. Ellie worked with year 6, year 3 and year 1 classes over the course of the day. 

Year 6 looked at some examples of portraiture by British artist Frank Auerbach. We warmed up by reminding ourselves about the proportions of a face, before taking part in a speed-sketching exercise to loosen up our hands. We split our paper into six sections, into which we drew faces. Ellie gave us only 10 seconds to draw the first face! For the second face we had to use our other hand, and again we just had 10 seconds. For the third face we had to close our eyes; the fourth we had to draw upside down. The fifth challenge was proposed by one of the class, who suggested we combine the previous challenges and draw an upside down face with our eyes closed, using the wrong hand! The final challenge was to see if we could draw a face in only 5 seconds. 

Once we were all loosened up we went on to create larger portraits in charcoal, based on Auerbach’s style. Ellie showed us various techniques, such as creating texture by using the side of the charcoal, blending with chalk, and adding highlights using a rubber. Our finished portraits looked very atmospheric!


Year 3 worked on a collage project based on natural forms. We started by making some quick observational sketches of poppy heads, spider plants and other items from nature. We chose our favourite elements from our sketches and combined them to create a bold composition, which we drew out in chalk onto sugar paper. We then added torn paper pieces in a variety of different patterns to create our abstract natural form designs. Our finished collages were full of interesting colours and textures.


Year 1 were working on a printmaking project. We identified the three primary colours and talked about how important these colours are. We then created a layered print, using different objects such as sponges, foam blocks and small pots to create repeating patterns on our paper. After each colour we rotated around the tables, so that we had a go with all three colours, one on top of the other. Some of us noticed that our colours were starting to mix, and we talked about the secondary colours we create when we mix two primary colours. We went on to create a second piece of work, this time layering secondary colours. 

main-art day website

Ellie really enjoyed her day, though there was a lot of tidying up to do! The children’s work will be displayed at the Art Stars Open Day on Saturday 9th July.

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